City of Alexandria, VA
Page updated Jul 17, 2012 2:15 PM
Historic Ice Well at Gadsby's Tavern Museum
The City of Alexandria is fortunate to count Gadsby's Tavern's ca. 1793 commercial size ice well as part of its historic properties. The history of Gadsby's Tavern is, at its core, a story of American commerce and entrepreneurship. Community leaders, including those of the fledgling national government, met at Gadsby's to conduct business and discuss the news of the day that arrived via ship in the busy port of Alexandria. Large, community celebratory events hosting America's first six Presidents occurred at the tavern, including George Washington's Birthnight Celebrations and Thomas Jefferson's 1801 Inaugural Banquet. As travelers ventured to the new Federal City, Gadsby's Tavern set the standard for the nation's emerging hospitality industry. One example of this was the subterranean ice well, built underneath the corner of Royal and Cameron Streets during the City Tavern's construction.